Archive for April, 2012

2012 Alan Shepard Technology in Education Awards

Do you know K-12 teachers or district-level administrators who are making a difference in education through the use of technology? Recognize their achievements by nominating them for the Alan Shepard Technology in Education Award. The Astronauts Memorial Foundation, in partnership with NASA and the Space Foundation, will recognize the accomplishments of one outstanding individual and his or her contributions to lifelong learning through the application of technology in the classroom or professional development of teachers.

Technology personnel and K-12 classroom teachers who have demonstrated exemplary use of technology to enhance learning are eligible for this award. School principals, superintendents or associate superintendents may nominate eligible candidates. The award will be presented in April 2012 at the 28th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. The deadline for applications is Jan. 16, 2012.

Applications and more information are available online here.

Questions about this award should be directed to

NASA 2012 Lunabotics Competition Open For Registration

NASA is accepting applications from teams of U.S. and international undergraduate and graduate students for the third annual Lunabotics Mining Competition. The event will be at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida May 21-26, 2012. Participants in the competition will design and build a remote controlled or autonomous robot, which could be used for future exploration on the moon. During the competition, the teams’ designs, known as lunabots, will go head-to-head to determine which one can excavate and deposit the most simulated lunar dirt within 10 minutes.

Students must submit applications, including a systems engineering paper and an educational outreach project, by Nov. 30. Registration is limited to one team for each university campus and 10 teams per country. The competition is designed to engage and retain students in the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, disciplines critical to NASA’s missions.

For information about the competition and to apply online, visit:

NASA Accepting Applications For Aeronautics Scholarships

WASHINGTON — NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate is accepting scholarship applications from graduate and undergraduate students for the 2012 academic year. The application deadline is Jan. 15, 2012.

Graduate students must apply under a specific research topic to align with NASA’s aeronautics research programs. The list of available topics is posted online. NASA expects to award 20 undergraduate and five graduate scholarships to students in aeronautics or related fields. Undergraduate students entering their second year of study will receive up to $15,000 per year for two years and the opportunity to receive a $10,000 stipend by interning at a NASA research center during the summer.Graduate students will receive up to $35,000 per year for up to three years, with an opportunity to receive a $10,000 stipend interning at a NASA research center for up to two consecutive summers.

“Pairing our best aeronautical innovators at NASA with the nation’s brightest students, through internship opportunities in our scholarship program helps ensure we will continue to have the talented workforce we need to solve the challenges of 21st century aviation,” said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

Students not committed to a specific academic institution or program still may apply. If accepted, they must be admitted by fall 2012 into an aeronautical engineering program or related field of study at an accredited U.S. university. Applicants must be U.S. citizens. Scholarship money may be used for tuition and other school-related expenses.

NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate conducts cutting-edge, fundamental and integrated systems research in traditional and emerging disciplines. The intent is to help transform the nation’s air transportation system and to support development of future air and space vehicles. Its goals include improving airspace capacity and flexibility; aviation safety and aircraft performance; reducing overall noise, engine emissions and fuel usage.

For details about this scholarship program, a list of available research topics and the application process, visit:

For more information about aeronautics research at NASA, visit:

NASA Education Invites Students to Drop Everything!

NASA’s Dropping In a Microgravity Environment (DIME) and What If No Gravity? (WING) allow students in high school and in middle school to design and build an experiment that will be operated in a NASA research drop tower. This will put the students’ experiment in microgravity, just as if it were in space.

Four teams in the high school DIME competition will be invited to visit NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and operate their experiment in the drop tower. Four additional teams will send their experiment to Glenn for the drop tower staff to operate it.

Teams of students in grades 5-8 in the WING program will propose for the opportunity to build an experiment to be operated in the same drop tower by NASA drop tower staff.

All DIME and WING teams will analyze their data from the experiment operations and write a final report. The students’ process of experiment development through to a final report mimics the process used by NASA and other researchers.

Proposal postmark deadline date is Nov. 1, 2011. Selected teams will be announced in early-December and drop tower operations will be conducted in March 2012.

The DIME & WING competitions are funded by NASA’s Teaching From Space program.

For more information about both DIME & WING, please visit

If you have questions about this opportunity, please e-mail your inquiries to the DIME & WING team at

2011-12 FAA Design Competition for Universities

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is continuing to offer a Design Competition for Universities for the 2011-2012 academic year and has added new design categories. The Competition challenges individual students or teams of students (undergraduates and graduates) from U.S. colleges and universities, working under the mentorship of a faculty advisor, to address challenges in four broad areas: Airport Operations and Maintenance, Runway Safety/Runway Incursions/Runway Excursions, Environmental Interactions of Airports, and Airport Management and Planning. Students must have a faculty advisor. Cash prizes are given to first, second and third place winners in each category.

The first place winners will present their design solutions at the FAA/TSA/ACC Summer Workshop Series in Arlington, Virginia, July 18-19, 2012. They also present at another professional meeting relevant to their design proposal.

Competition guidelines and full details are available at:

Student and faculty participants in last year’s Competition overwhelmingly found participation in the Competition to be a valuable educational experience. Many cited the opportunity to interact with and confer with industry professionals and experts on solving a modern, real world dilemma to be a rewarding and purposeful experience. Participants can engage in the Competition in many ways — for example as part of a design class, independent study, or a student professional society project.

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